Sama urges for vigilance after monkeypox was detected in Gauteng

The South African Medical Association (Sama) is calling on South Africans to be vigilant following the detection of the first case of monkeypox in the country.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla announced during a cabinet briefing on Thursday that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) detected the case in Gauteng.

According to Phaahla, the NICD, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, confirmed that a case of monkeypox was identified through laboratory testing on Wednesday.

“The case involves a 30-year-old male residing in the Gauteng province. He reported no recent travel history and contact tracing has commenced, identifying any additional linked cases of monkeypox in South Africa,” according to the NICD.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection in humans. Since May, more than 3 000 cases have been reported from several European countries, the US, Canada, Australia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the NICD, the cases mostly involve individuals that identify as men having sex with men, noting that risk factors include having multiple sexual partners. Recent large social events are also thought to have served as super-spreader events.

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